The Therapist's Notebook for Families : Solution-Oriented Exercises for Working With Parents, Children, and Adolescents book cover
2nd Edition

The Therapist's Notebook for Families
Solution-Oriented Exercises for Working With Parents, Children, and Adolescents

ISBN 9780415726931
Published October 5, 2015 by Routledge
260 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The Therapist’s Notebook for Families, Second Edition, provides 72 solution-oriented activities for an array of challenging problems faced by mental health professionals when working with clients. The Therapist's Notebook offers clear, practical, easy-to-use exercises to help therapists work effectively and creatively with parents, adolescents, children, and families. Its solution-focused perspective provides a foundation based on collaboration, the utilization of client strengths, and the creation of possibilities to facilitate present and future change. The book is arranged in five parts, with 15 fully revised and 23 brand-new exercises.

Table of Contents

Introduction  I. The Family as a Resource  1. The Therapist’s Notebook: Preparing for Working with Families 2. The Pyramid: Identifying Levels of Need 3. Reputation Matters: Examining the Culture of Therapy 4. Collaboration Keys: Strengthening the Alliance 5. Preferences: Eliciting Clients’ Ideas about Therapy 6. Who Are You? Qualities Within 7. Recollections: Finding What We Do Well 8. Factors: Influences on Problems and Solutions 9. Taking Stock: Creating a Family Inventory of Resources 10. More Than: Challenging Unhelpful Influences 11. More Like Whom? Speculating About My Parents 12. Significant: People Who Know or Have Known Me 13. Inside Job: Exploring Family Solutions 14. Inherited or Learned or Both?  II. Getting Clear on Change  15. Cycling Through  16. The Language of Possibility 17. Invitations to Accountability: Separating Feeling and Doing 18. Translations: Using Action-Talk 19. Solution-Talk 20. Determining Goals: What Needs to Change? 21. Indications: Identifying Goal-Related Improvement 22. The Crystal Ball 23. The Time Machine 24. Movement: Signs of Progress 25. Scaling: Taking the Temperature of Change 26. Exploring Theories of Change  III. Changing Views and Perspectives  27. Future-Talk: Acknowledgement and a Vision for the Future  28. Reviving The Soul: Spiritual Energy and Resources 29. Did You See That? Acknowledging Efforts 30. Family Views: Appreciating Different Perspectives 31. Teach Your Children 32. Request for Change 33. Catch ‘Em Doing Well 34. Seize the Moments: Identifying the Exceptions 35. Gaining the Upper Hand: Searching for Counterevidence 36. How Does That Help You? Reevaluating Viewpoints 37. What Would Einstein Say? Considering Alternative Views 38. The World as a Consultant: Learning from Experienced Others 39. Scene It: Movies as Life 40. Separating From Problems 41. The Big Picture 42. What’s My Mission? Finding a Meaning 43. Before Tomorrow: Finding a Vision for the Future  IV. Changing Actions and Interactions  44. Our Lives as Patterns 45. Exception-Seeking: Changing Patters 46. Stay With It: Going Along with the Pattern 47. Try-Outs: Exploring the Benefits of Turning Patterns On and Off 48. Do Something Different: Experimenting with Pattern Interruptions 49. United We Stand: Creating Caregiving Agreement 50. Who’s Doing What? Sharing Household Responsibilities 51. Script It Out 52. Trouble with the Curve: Doing the Unexpected 53. Here, There, Not Everywhere: Change Some Aspect of Context 54. Something Different, Something New, Something Unpredictable 55. Remember When: Utilizing Past Solutions and Successes 56. Nothing’s Forever, It Just Seems That Way: Problem Wind-Downs and Endings 57. What Difference a Day Makes: Charting Solutions  V. Keeping the Ball Rolling  58. Three Forward, Two Back 59. Putting the Brakes On: Keeping Things from Getting Worse 60. What Worked? Evaluating and Employing Successes 61. Parent Preparation, Parent Prevention 62. Traditions: Consistency, Continuity, and Connection 63. The Real World: Keeping an Eye on Between Session 64. Where’s the Evidence? Identifying the Facts of Change 65. Bring it to Light: Identify and Amplify Change 66. It Really is You! 67. Are We There Yet? Evaluating the Significance of Change 68. Self-Examination: Making the Most of Differences 69. The Scrapbook of Life 70. Certifiable 71. Pursuing the Future 72. Simply Said: The Gift of Gratitude

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Bob Bertolino, PhD, is an associate professor of rehabilitation counseling at Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri. He is also senior clinical advisor at Youth In Need, Inc. and a senior associate at the International Center for Clinical Excellence. Bob has taught over 500 workshops throughout the United States and internationally and has authored or co-authored 14 books.


In the second edition of The Therapist’s Notebook for Families, Bob Bertolino has done a masterful job of using key psychotherapy change principles/mechanisms, based in research, to create practical and meaningful exercises that will help therapists, clients, and their family members engage in and move through the often difficult change process. These theoretically informed exercises are a must-have resource for both novice and seasoned therapists.—Adrian Blow, PhD, Associate Professor and Program Director, Couple and Family Therapy Program, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Michigan State University

The Therapist’s Notebook for Families provides a unique combination of exercises to build effective skills and processes to develop a professional disposition anchored in collaboration and strength-based philosophy. Dr. Bertolino is a leader in the field of solution-based therapies and provides innovative exercises that are applicable for students, supervisors, and new and experienced professionals. –Michael Kiener, PhD, CRC, Associate Professor of Rehabilitation Counseling, Maryville University of St. Louis

If you are a solution-focused, solution-oriented, or solution-based family therapist, then The Therapis’st Notebook for Families is just the ticket for an effective, rewarding practice. Through this compendium of change-oriented exercises, Bob Bertolino demonstrates the many ways one can balance maintaining respect for families while challenging them to do different things and do things differently—all in ways that make impeccable sense and happen to be fun and engaging at the same time. Too many professional helpers can tell you what is wrong with a family and why. Very few can help family members effectively and efficiently create antidotes for the difficulties that ail them. This book is an invitation to step away from the dark side of problem-saturated practice into the light of solution-talk and family transformation that makes a difference. —Jay Memmott, MSW, PhD, Chair and MSW Program Director, University of South Dakota